GOP governor candidates coming to Back Nine Tavern

Published on Friday, 6 July 2018 20:22


SOUTHINGTON - Republican candidates for governor will convene for the Republican Gubenatorial Candidate Forum July 16 at Back Nine Tavern.

The event, hosted by the local Republican Town Committee, will be held at 7 p.m. at the tavern at 150 Savage St. The event will be moderated by Todd Feinburg, host of “Afternoons with Todd Feinburg” on WTIC AM NewsTalk1080.

“Republicans have a very strong slate of candidates in the race for Connecticut’s next governor, which makes choosing the best candidate a challenge,” said Stephen Kalkowski, chair of the local Republican Town Committee. “The intent of this forum will be to help educate primary voters on each candidate’s platform and plans to turn the state around.”

Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton is the endorsed candidate from the May 2018 Republican convention. Tim Herbst, First Selectman of Trumbull, and Steve Obsitnik both qualified for the primary at the convention. Bob Stefanowski and David Stemerman have also successfully petitioned their way onto the primary ballot.

Kalkowski noted that this is the first time that the local Republican Town Committee has hosted a Gubenatorial candidate forum.

“We feel it is very important to bring these candidates to the town of Southington,” he said. “It’s a way for our residents to get direct access to the candidates and hear them answer questions that are important to the voters and the future of the state.

“For the last several months, several of the candidates have been coming to speak for a few minutes at our Republican Town Committee meetings. However, this will allow them two hours to go in-depth about how they plan to work with the House and Senate, whether it ends up as a Republican majority or remains Democrat-led like it is today.”

The moderator will ask a series of questions to the candidates. Each candidate will have up to 3 minutes to answer the question. The questions will be based on citizen concerns such as the economy, jobs growth, immigration, taxes, education and more.

“Some of the questions will be submitted by our committee members, and our local candidates; Joe Markley, John Fusco and Rob Sampson,” said Kalkowski. “We want a well-rounded group of questions. This will not be a debate and the candidates will be instructed to restrict their responses to the topic of the question and not to the other candidates,” said Kalkowski. “The purpose of the forum is to better educate voters on each candidate’s positions and plans for Connecticut. If time permits, there may be a Q&A session. The moderator will ensure that the questions are appropriate and meant to further educate the voters in attendance.”

Kalkowski said that he feels that the Republicans have a strong roster of Gubernatorial candidates.

“They bring a wealth of knowledge to the race,” he said. “On the political side, you have Mark and Tim. Steve has the discipline of a military background. Bob and Dave have expertise on the business side. Our President has been very successful because he has business experience and wasn’t your traditional politician. I feel like the people of Connecticut will have a good set of choices to make.”

Those who wish to suggest questions for the candidate forum can email them to

Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or

Posted in The Bristol Press, Southington Herald on Friday, 6 July 2018 20:22. Updated: Friday, 6 July 2018 20:25.